The Med “It’s Good food”
by Christine Mason
The Med is somewhat unique in Plettenberg Bay – it hasn’t changed hands in 24 years! The restaurant was originally an a la carte outlet for Peter and Peddie Dodds’ famous Islander (on the N2), but when the pressure became too much, Peter invited Marianne and Dave Mould to take over. At the time, Dave was looking for somewhere to express his culinary expertise, so he moved into the kitchen; Marianne brought in her hotel front-of-house skills and, with their then 18 month-old daughter Toni in tow, they took over the reins. “The rest is history”.
At the time, The Med’s decor had a striking Greek theme, and the menu was small, different and cheap. It was a place where young locals came to hang out, but along with Dave & Marianne’s increasing popularity came a corresponding demand for change. Dave responded by gradually changing the menu, and his combination of seafood, fish, beef and venison proved to be a winner. “It is not ‘fine dining”, Marianne insists. “We offer good, classic country cooking and, while we are flexible to a certain extent, there are some dishes which cannot be altered”. Such as the Seafood St Tropez – a seafood grill for one person, with a little something of everything and beautifully presented. That’s been on the menu since day one. Lamb shank compete in popularity with The Med’s famed crispy dick with orange sauce; the prawns are superb. Marianne believes that it is the steel-topped stove in the kitchen which adds that mysterious ‘something extra’ to Dave’s cooking. “It may be steel” she laughs, “but there are 24 years of flavour in that grill!” When Marianne chose to submit their wine list to Diner’s Club, it received a Platinum Award. Reds retail at between R75 and R346; whites are from R59 to R393. There is a small but representative bar and post-prandial palates are well catered for in the after-dinner whiskey and brandy ranges.
The warm, French, bistro-style decor and small-paned windows merge into an impression of dining in someone’s comfortable home, and local repeat business is faithful. Overseas visitors return regularly – often sending letters of admiration, congratulations and thanks on their return to their countries of origin. People travel from far to eat at The Med and many still ask after Toni, who is currently studying as Stellenbosch University.
The Med is now serving second – and third-generation locals and holidaymakers. Pay them a visit and start your own dynasty. The well-trained and experienced staff will add the finishing tough to your experience of what really is “GOOD food”!